By Matt Boyer, KYMA-TV Sports Director
YUMA, AZ- One day after former Yuma Scorpions manager Jose Canseco lashed out at his former team through a New York newspaper, the Scorpions are firing back.
According to an article published by New York Daily News, Canseco alleges that the North American Baseball League failed to pay him his full salary and that he is considering suing the league. He went on to blast the league's management, saying he will "never manage for them (Yuma) again, never play in that league again."
In an e-mail sent to KYMA-TV, North American Baseball League CEO Kevin Outcalt says that Canseco never received his full salary due to a number of violations against the league. Outcalt states Canseco was fined $16,000 by North American League Baseball Operations Director Harry Stavrenos for "violating league rules." Outcalt clarified this charge later in a phone interview, saying Canseco was originally fined $25,000 for forfeiting and refusing to put his team on the field for a game in Chico this past August. After a league review of the violation, the fine was reduced to $16,000.
The e-mail also alleges that Canseco stuck the league with a $3,500 dollar bill for damages and cleaning that included the removal of "hazardous waste material" from the house Canseco rented on Martinez Lake.
The total sum of $19,500 was deducted from his contract.
KYMA-TV also reached out to Yuma General Manager Jose Melendez, who lived with Jose Canseco this season on Martinez Lake. Melendez says the damages done to the house were largely from Canseco's dog, a great dane named "Bruce." Broken screen doors, stains on carpets and couches, and patio damage were among some items for which tenants were charged. Melendez says that some of the charges are legitimate(screen doors, patio damage), but there are still some cleaning/travel charges they are disputing with the realtor. ERA Matt Fischer Realtors, the realty company that rented Canseco the house, said Canseco was staying in a 7,000 sq. ft home on the North Shore of Martinez Lake. It has 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and a 2,000 sq. ft "refrigerated garage." Outcalt says that if ERA agrees to reduce some of the charges, Canseco will be paid the amount of reduction.
Melendez says Canseco already has plans to join Pete Rose in an "autograph and appearance business" in Las Vegas this coming winter.
Outcalt maintains that the decision to cut ties with Canseco as a player and manager was based on his performance this past season. The Scorpions finished last in the South Division of the NABL in 2011. He says the team will look to keep Melendez as their general manager, and that Melendez was one of the best front office people the team has hired to date. Outcalt also wrote that he is thankful for the fan support, and hopes the team will be around for as long as possible.